How to Take Care of a Jade Tree

Overview

Jade trees, even in pots, have a look of long-livedness to them, a sense of patience that promises tolerance for even inexperienced indoor gardeners. Looks do not deceive. The plants aren't fussy. Treat them with courtesy and jade trees will live for a long time, reaching about 5 feet if potted, perhaps even blooming eventually. Part of the courtesy owed jades is not to over-water, a common mistake of those growing jade plants.

Step 1

Make sure the soil drains well or risk causing the jade to develop root rot.

Step 2

Re-pot the jade with appropriate soil if needed, preferably doing so when dormancy is over. Don't water afterward; let the soil dry out before you next water the plant.

Step 3

Place the jade in full sun or a southern window. Don't let the jade plant actually touch the window. Jades need at least four hours of sun daily.

Step 4

Water regularly--about once a week during spring and summer, once a month in winter. Let soil dry between waterings.

Step 5

Inspect for pests when you water. Mealybugs are a common jade pest. They look like small bits of cotton.

Step 6

Rub off pests with cotton swabs dipped in alcohol.

Step 7

Fertilize the plant about once a quarter, following the directions on the fertilizer. Don't fertilize while the plant is dormant.

Step 8

Re-pot to a larger pot if years of growth make the plant in danger of tipping over. Do this during the growing season. After re-potting, let the soil dry out before watering again.

Step 9

Prune new growth when it's young if it will end up producing a branch in a direction you don't want. You don't want the plant to end up unbalanced. Cut back to the lateral branch or main trunk.

Things You'll Need

  • Jade plant
  • Soil that drains well (optional)
  • Cotton swabs (optional)
  • Alcohol (optional)
  • Indoor houseplant fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

References

  • Clemson University Extension: Jade Plant
  • Colorado State University Cooperative Extension: Jade Plant

Who Can Help

  • NDSU Extension Service: Questions on Jade Plants
Keywords: caring for a jade tree, caring for a jade plant, jade plant care, jade tree care

About this Author

S. Johnson is a freelance writer and editor of both print and film media who specializes in making the complex clear. A freelancer for over 20 years, Johnson has had the opportunity to cover many topics ranging from construction to music to celebrity interviews, learning a lot and talking to many interesting people.